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{ Monthly Archives } September 2011

Grizzlies, Pandas, and Optimal Ecological Structures

Last year, a group of students in one of my classes did a project on designing a grizzly bear habitat, inspired by the work at Cornell’s wonderful Institute for Computational Sustainability. In that project, the goal was to pick out a collection of geographic areas that formed a contiguous zone that the grizzly’s could move […]

The Importance of Accurate Data

I have been spending the last couple of weeks assigning faculty to courses and helping staff think about scheduling issues. I wish I could say that I have been using operations research techniques to do this sort of work. After all, most of my work has been in some form of timetabling optimization. But that […]

Operations Research: The Sort of Decisions That Will Get You Fired

I just saw an ad for “Moneyball”, a new movie based on the book by Michael Lewis. A baseball manager (Billy Beane of the Oakland Athletics) used analytics (“Sabremetrics” in the baseball world) to choose players who were undervalued by the rest of the baseball world.  Beane had a constrained optimization problem:  he had to […]